Years of running, jumping and walking take a toll on your pet's joints. When your once energetic cat or dog starts to slows down or appears to be in pain, osteoarthritis may be to blame. The disea ...View Article
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The terms arthritis, osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease (DJD), are often used interchangeably, and each indicates an inflammation of the joints. Although many things - such as injury or infection - can cause arthritis, most cases are simply due to aging.
The shoulder, elbow, hip and knee are the most frequently affected. However, all joints, including those of the spine, can be involved. Obese cats tend to be especially prone to arthritis, as excess weight places a greater strain on joints.
Most geriatric cats will experience some degree of arthritis and exhibit symptoms including stiffness, pain and loss of muscle. Arthritis is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms usually worsen with age.
Arthritis and its accompanying symptoms are not life threatening, but they often worsen throughout your cat's life. Many cats simply live within the limitations caused by arthritis. For many, treatment can improve their quality of life.
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You can also do a lot in your home to help your arthritic cat access her favorite spots comfortably. Make sure food bowls are easily accessible. Choose litter boxes that are large, easy to get in and out of, and place them in the living area where your cat spends the most time. For instance, if your cat dwells mainly on the first floor, don't put the litter box in the basement. Use a pet ramp or stair steps to help her access a favorite perch or warm space. Try to make the basics of your cat's life as simple as possible.